Help: Raising KH using Seachem Alkaline and Acid Buffers - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Help: Raising KH using Seachem Alkaline and Acid Buffers

I'm not quite getting the jest of using alkaline and acid buffers to raise KH and lower pH.

From what I've read you raise the KH with alkaline buffer and then lower the pH with acid buffer.

But if the acid buffer is lowering the pH, isn't also eating away at the buffering of the KH and lowering it?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 11:17 PM
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Skip the balancing act.

Here is how I do this:

1) Research the fish needs, especially the GH.
2) Test the tap water, or whatever source you are using for the aquarium. GH, KH, pH, TDS (if you have a meter).
3) Goal: set GH and KH pretty close to each other and ignore the pH.

3a) If the tap water has lower mineral levels than the fish you want:
Add Seachem Equilibrium to raise the GH to the right level.
Add baking soda or potassium bicarbonate to raise the KH to match the GH.
Ignore the pH. When the minerals are right, the fish are highly likely going to be fine at a very wide range of pH.

3b) If the tap water has higher GH or KH than the fish want, then blend reverse osmosis or distilled water with the tap water until the one that is too high is what the fish want. If this lowers the other one too much then correct as in part 3a). Ignore the pH.

3c) If you want to keep a soft water species that comes from a black water river or stream then it is a 2-part solution:
Get the GH and KH where the fish want (almost always this is very soft water- mostly reverse osmosis with just a little bit of tap water unless your tap water is very soft)
Circulate this water through peat moss to add the organic acids these fish are accustomed to.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2015, 04:37 PM
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I agree with this. I used to do the balancing act and all that gets you is a headache. To get the PH to 7.2 or so you have to raise the KH to around 8 or 9 and then add enough acid buffer to knock it back to 3 KH. It works but requires buying a lot of chemicals that you really do not need. Without adding the acid buffer my PH is around 8.2 for a KH of 3 or 4 and my fish and plants have been very happy for a couple years that way.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 01:07 AM
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Acid buffer is a pH buffer (total alkalinity).

Just follow the instructions to reach the desired pH.

Feel free to edit.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Add baking soda or potassium bicarbonate to raise the KH to match the GH.
Is there any advantage to using potassium bicarbonate over sodium bicarbonate?

Last edited by Argus; 09-20-2015 at 06:57 PM. Reason: subscribe
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 02:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argus View Post
Is there any advantage to using potassium bicarbonate over sodium bicarbonate?
The potassium is more useful to plants than sodium.

Anthony


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 11:01 PM
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The potassium is more useful to plants than sodium.
Thanks. I thought that might be the case.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks gang. I bought some potassium bicarbonate.

“I wear a ten-gallon cowboy hat. That’s where I keep my fish tank."
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